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Section 26a of the TVA Act

Dredges and Excavations

1. Purpose

 

This guidance applies to requests to excavate land to produce new shoreline areas and for dredge requests of underwater areas to improve boating access (see §§ 1304.207 and 1304.303 for the regulations regarding channel excavation).

 

2. Review

TVA requires the review of excavations and dredges as described below and conducts environmental and programmatic reviews of the affected areas, including review of the spoil disposal area.

A. Dredging of TVA fee-owned land (Table 1)

1. TVA will consider requests:

  • In accordance with Section 26a regulations for commercial navigation purposes and for other federal agencies (e.g., USACE for channel maintenance of federal mooring facilities, USCG for placement of navigation aids).
  • For residential boating access channels in accordance with Section 26a regulations (i.e. less than 150 cubic yard criteria)

2. TVA will not consider requests:

  • To dredge material within 25-feet of the shoreline (full summer pool) for the purposes of creating new shoreline.  

 

B. Excavation on TVA fee-owned land

1. TVA will not consider requests: 

  • To create new shoreline.
  • For recessed boat wells.
  • For inland harbors.

 

C. Dredging or excavation on private land or within flowage easement properties (Table 1)

 

These actions are not subject to TVA review unless they are associated with a Section 26a permitting activity such as the construction of a private water use facility because dredging/excavation does not constitute an obstruction as defined in Section 26a of the TVA Act.  These activities could be subject to 26a permitting if the applicant plans to spoil the excess material within the flowage easement area, 100-year floodplain, or flood control storage zone, whichever is applicable.  However, where excavations on private land occur, TVA will require acquisition of flowage easement rights over private land, at owner expense.   TVA will determine the appropriate flowage contour to be acquired.

TVA will consider requests:

  • In accordance with Section 26a regulations.
  • For recessed boat wells.

 

3. Definitions

 

Excavation – A land based activity - removal of material from land, primarily for creating navigable waters that would create new shoreline.   This includes excavation on all reservoirs, above and below the summer pool elevation, when the water is at or near the January 1 level. 

Dredge – A water based activity - removal of material from an underwater location, primarily for deepening waterways and creating boat access channels

 

Table 1.  Section 26a permits for dredges.

What are TVA’s land rights at site of requested dredge?

Does TVA review and issue Section 26a permit?

TVA fee land

Yes

TVA flowage land (only a dredge requested)

No**

TVA flowage land (dredge is requested in conjunction with dock, seawall, etc.)

Yes

No TVA fee or flowage land (i.e. original river/stream channel) only a dredge is requested *

No**

No TVA fee or flowage land (i.e. original river/stream channel, dredge is requested in conjunction with dock, seawall, etc.) *

Yes

* Few requests are received to dredge in the original river or stream channels as the channels are generally deep and away from the shoreline.  Adjacent homeowners mostly want to increase the depth for boat access near their property at the shoreline.

** If the dredge material is to be deposited on TVA flowage easement area, 100-year floodplain, or flood control storage zone then Section 26a review is required.

Note: Site specific conditions may impact the review and approval of your application. Applying does not guarantee approval. Contact your local regional watershed office for more information and clarification.

 

Quick Index to Regulations

Summary

Subpart A: Procedures for Approval

Subpart B: Nonnavigable Houseboats

Subpart C: TVA Residential Shoreland

Subpart D: Flowage Easement Shoreland

Subpart E: Miscellaneous

Definitions

 

Main Index

 

Index to additional guidance for implementing TVA's Section 26a Regulations

 

           
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